City staff praised for work related to pool

Published 11:41 pm Sunday, January 15, 2017


Kristi Roberson, director of parks and recreation for Washington, received praise from the City Council last week for her efforts to save the city money in repairing the dehumidifier and with the Save the Pool campaign.

As for saving the city money, Roberson’s attention to the dehumidifier project resulted in the $300,000 estimate to replace the unit drop to about half that estimate, then fall to $91,942 to rebuild the dehumidifier. In September, the council approved a $153,007 purchase order for Thermal Resources Sales to replace the dehumidifier, which has experienced problems in recent years.

That initial estimated, combined with the pool operating at a deficit, had the council considering closing the pool. That possibility resulted in the Save the Pool campaign, an effort between the city and pool supporters.

By working with Thermal Resources Sales, Roberson was able to save the city more than $200,000. Under a previous funding agreement, the city allocated $76,504 toward the $153,007, with the Save the Pool campaign tasked with raising $76,503. Currently, the city has appropriated $41,099 from its fund balance for the project, with the Save the Pool campaign having raised $50,843, including a $20,000 pledge, for a total of $91,942, according to a city document.

“I commend the staff for reducing — because we started out a year ago this was a $300,000 project, and now it’s less than $100,000. So, y’all have done a lot of work to do that,” Councilman Doug Mercer said.

Councilman Larry Beeman said, “I would like to say thanks to Kristi.” Councilman Richard Brooks said Roberson’s efforts with the pool, along with other city staff is a fine example of the city hiring good employees “working for the city to get things done.”

Mercer made a motion for the council “to go on record in thanking Kristi and her staff and the volunteers for raising the funds they raised on this project.”

Mayor Mac Hodges said, “I think that was an excellent job. I know you run 20 different programs to do this, Kristi. You stepped forward. What we thought two years ago was going to be $300,000-plus is now $41,000.”

Jim Taft, a sales engineer with Thermal Resources Sales, said it would take three to four days to rebuild the dehumidifier with new parts, which would be under warranty. The rebuild should start in about 30 days, Taft said. The Hildred T. Moore Aquatic & Fitness Center will remain open during the rebuild process, Taft noted, adding that the pool area will be humid and smell of chlorine during the rebuild.









About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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